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How do you help someone get over a messed-up family/childhood?

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How do you help someone get over a messed-up family/childhood?

My boyfriend can't handle being touched. At all. He'll flinch away if my fingers accidentally touch his fingers, so there's not exactly hugging or kissing. He's okay with holding hands if we're both wearing clothes, and sleeping in the same bed if there's a blanket between us. So definitely no sex, either.

It's infinitely frustrating for both of us, though he's baffled by the suggestion of getting psychiatric help, as he's not mentally ill.

It'd be an understatement to say that his family is religious. Like, he's literally got like 13 siblings because contraceptives are a sin. I sometimes ask if he actually believes most of the stuff they taught him at home, and he says he can't answer that since he doesn't know which parts of his upbringing were the weird ones and what is normal. But he firmly believes that his family (that he's still really attached to) will literally just disown him and completely cut him off if they know he's not living in living faith, whatever that means.

I just want him to be happy but I have no idea how.
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*gloves. He's able to hold hands with me outside in the winter, with the gloves between us.
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how the fuck do people get into relationships when it's like this
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>>18008459
University.

He's an honestly good and kind guy, otherwise.
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>>18008431

If his issues with touch are this dramatic it is a sign that he needs serious therapy.
He's been brainwashed
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>>18008434
>He's able to hold hands with me outside in the winter, with the gloves between us.
Lie, this never happens and you'd know if you weren't a baiting faggot.
>>18008459
They don't, op is a fag
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>>18008481
But how do I convince him of that?

He won't even realise how abnormal some of the rules in his home were before something happens. This once we were watching my nieces one day, they were playing somethig perfectly fine and normal and he got up to try and separate them. I really had to explain a 20-year-old guy that in normal families siblings are allowed to touch each other.
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>>18008431

You got into a relationship with an extremely broken person who you are now desperately trying to fix. You made a terrible mistake and you have no business being with someone so psychologically scarred that they can't even stomach physical contact.

He needs therapy. End of story. You can't force him to seek it if he isn't ready. He might not every be ready. He is obviously so torn between his family and his sanity that he can barely juggle that and his relationship with you at the same time.

Start considering the possibility that this fixer upper you invested in is a long road to nowhere.

Start considering the possibility that staying with him and increasing his emotional burden for the sake of satiating your need to piece back together broken boys into happy ones is a selfish decision.
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>>18008501
This isn't some game, I'm not trying to 'fix' him like some ego-stroking personal project, he's not a lawn mower.

I know he needs therapy, and I know if I push him into it too hard, he might just dig in his heels and refuse to go at all.

Like I said, he had never even considered the option before.

And how would dumping him help? I don't push him, I do my best to give him space. Just leaving him alone with all of this won't be helpful.
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>>18008516

>This isn't some game, I'm not trying to 'fix' him like some ego-stroking personal project, he's not a lawn mower.

Firstly, yes you are trying to fix him. It might not have anything to do with ego but you knew how broken he was before you got together with him and you did it anyways.

That means you realized he was completely incapable of intimacy but you thought you could fix him or you didn't realize how messed up he was because you're a complete idiot. Either option isn't good.

You are very much so downplaying the severity of his dysfunction to avoid acknowledging your part in this.

You're with a man who is so sick you can't touch him. Really sit and shed the attitude and consider that for a moment. You really think he has the mental capacity to be in a healthy relationship?

Do you honestly think that your relationship could be considered anything near healthy?

>I know he needs therapy, and I know if I push him into it too hard, he might just dig in his heels and refuse to go at all.

I don't think you're understanding the concept. It doesn't matter if you push him into going. He doesn't want to go because he doesn't think he needs it. He doesn't want to get better. You could chain him to a therapists chair 3 times a week and it wouldn't matter.

>And how would dumping him help?

People with severe mental illnesses should not be in relationships. Period. Not until they can at least be honest with themselves and participate in intensive treatment. It not only forces him to juggle the pressure of completely rearranging his cognitive configuration but also be an equal partner in a relationship and attend to your needs as well.

Its selfish.

>Just leaving him alone with all of this won't be helpful.

Helpful to who? To you? No. To him? Perhaps.
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>>18008525
How would that help him?
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Leave he's ass end of story
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tell him that he doesn't have to be admitted to a psych ward to have a mental illness
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>>18008431
You don't bring it up in a conversation

Let him do the talking, that is IF he wants to talk about it.

Trust issues
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>>18008527

>How would that help him?

Let me explain something to you. If you are sacrificing your happiness for the sake of pushing him through his mental illness then you are not in a healthy relationship. You are not doing him nor yourself any favors by investing in a relationship that is completely revolved around his illness.

You keep making the focus on him and what will help him but fail to mention anything about the toll this will take on you year after year after year.

What if he never gets better? What if you just continue to be his emotional lifeboat for the rest of your life and he never gets the motivation to get help? Are you ok with being in a relationship with someone you can't have sex with? Who you can't touch?

These are the questions you need to ask yourself, because if you aren't being fulfilled in this relationship and the entirety of your romantic/sexual interests are completely enveloped in how to fix him you will only do more damage to him in the long run by staying.

This whole thing is dripping in codependence. I suggest you do a lot of soul searching and ask yourself some very serious questions because in the course of this entire dialogue you have been completed obsessed with "how will this help him" and "how can I push him" and you just seem to be making sacrifice after sacrifice all at the altar of making him better without consideration for your future.

You really think thats what this relationship needs? What he needs? A sacrificial girlfriend to who can't be happy until he figures out how?

I'm not saying break up. I'm saying start being fucking real.
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>>18008542
I'm not putting anything into this that I couldn't live without. I'm not expecting him to magically just get better one day (out of my efforts or without his own). I just like his company and him as a person.
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>>18008547

I really hope you pull your head out of the sand and start being honest with yourself sooner than later. For yours and his sake. The denial you are in is staggering. At this point all I can do is wish you luck because you're are the most codependent person I've met on /adv/ in a long time.
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>>18008431
You don't need to be ill to benefit from therapy. Having endured trauma... He can benefit.
But no, there is nothing YOU can do. If he is committed, and strong enough, self help books on working through shit like he went through can be help ful, but it takes self awareness and commitment, and you have to look at the ugly parts of yourself and really examine them, learn more about how you process and react.

If you go to the library and pick up about a half dozen books that seems relevant, then you skim through them. Most books like that have 2 or 3 great ideas, and the rest is padding.
If he won't seek professional help, and isn't committed or ABLE to to help himself, then he is a lost cause and you should run while you can. Some people are content to remain sick or damaged, and no matter what a saint you are, you can't help someone who doesn't want to help themselves. You're not a medical professional, it's not ON you.
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>>18008552
Instead of just throwing around words and calling me names, why can't you say something useful?

>>18008573
The issue is less that he's fucked-up and knows it, and refuses to get help. I mean for crying out loud he has lived SIX MONTHS out in the world outside of the community. I'm betting we haven't even found half the weird shit yet, though he's gradually becoming aware of how messed-up it is.

...instead of just staying home, marrying some laestadian girl and then MUTUALLY realising they can't touch each other even now that they're allowed to.
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>>18008909
what the fuck do you think they've been doing
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>>18008920
Who?
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>>18008501
>>18008525
>>18008542

This guy already said everything that needed to be said.

Op you're delusional, period. You don't even want to consider the toll that it WILL take on you. You have absolutly no idea what you're in, probably because you're young, stupid and stubborn.

You open saying that it is really frustrating and yadda yadda and then says that's nothing you can't endure. So suck it up and own your decision. There's absolutly nothing to be done other than getting this guy to a shrink. He doesn't want to go. You can't help someone who's not willing to help himself.

Just like you: you don't want help, you want us to validate your fairytale beliefs.
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>>18009049
I KNOW he needs a shrink. And he's starting to see it, too. The matter is helping him along the way.
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>>18009092
The single only thing you can do is talk him into going to the shrink and encourage him in opening up his intimacy to him

Other than that, what do you do when someone has a cold, or is driving? You mostly wait. Anything you do will be periferal to his treatment. The most you can do is tell him you won't try to touch him and will wait until he does, when he's ready, in his time.

And acknowledge the truth: he is fucked up. He is mentally ill. Sugarcoating will only make you walk in circles around his problem and never approach it. First step to fixing a problem is always ackowledging it, if you don't, he won't too.
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>>18009101
There's mental illness and there's mental illness. The matter is I'm halfway through explaining him that you don't need to be schizophrenic or anything to have use of help.
Thread posts: 25
Thread images: 2


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